Utah State Women's Basketball Hosts South Dakota in the First Round of the WBI
March 20, 2013
LOGAN, Utah -
TIP OFF - Utah State women's basketball (18-13) had its season extended with an invitation to the Women's Basketball Invitational, taking on South Dakota on Thursday, March 21 at 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. This is the fourth edition of the WBI with Minnesota taking the championship in 2012, while 2013 WAC regular-season champion, Seattle, made the WBI's final four last season. In 2011, UAB captured the crown with Appalachian State winning the inaugural WBI in 2010.
PILING UP THE POINTS - So far this season, Utah State has scored 2,379 points in 31 games. The Aggies are just 13 points away from tying the school record for points scored in a season. The 1982 team scored 2,392 points.
POSTSEASON AGGIES - This is the third-straight season that Utah State has advanced to the postseason with back-to-back Women's National Invitation Tournament berths. Last season, the Aggies fell in the first round of the WNIT to in-state rival Utah, 69-58. In 2011, USU defeated Arizona, 103-95, for the first USU win in a postseason game since the AIAW Championship in 1977. The Aggies fell in the second round to BYU, 102-63, in Provo, giving USU a 1-2 WNIT record. This is the first time that Utah State has played in the WBI. This is USU's second-ever home postseason game.
AGGIES IN THE POSTSEASON 2011 - WNIT USU 103, Arizona 95 BYU 102, USU 63SCOUTING SOUTH DAKOTA - This is the second time this season that the Aggies and the Coyotes have met in the Spectrum. On Dec. 20, Utah State snapped a five-game losing streak with a 70-69 win over South Dakota. Senior guard Devyn Christensen drilled a three-pointer with 10 seconds left to propel USU to victory. The Dec. 20 match-up was the first meeting in the all-time series between the Aggies and Coyotes.
Four different Aggies were in double digits in scoring led by 25 points by Christensen. It was her seventh 20-point game this season. Senior guard Jenna Johnson added 16 points, while junior guard Jennifer Schlott scored 12 points and added a career-high eight assists.
Three different Coyotes scored in double figures with Wilson scoring 18. Margaret McCloud had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Seekamp added 14 points and eight boards.
South Dakota has experience in the WBI, defeating 2013 Western Athletic Conference Tournament champion Idaho in the first round in 2011.
This is the fourth edition of the WBI with Minnesota taking the championship in 2012, while 2013 WAC regular-season champion, Seattle, made the WBI's final four last season. In 2011, UAB captured the crown with Appalachian State winning the inaugural WBI in 2010. The winner of the USU-USD game will take on the winner of the game between second-seeded Lamar and Presbyterian.
BIG NUMBERS AT THE BIG TOURNAMENT - In two games at the WAC Tournament, Utah State had four players averaging in double figures led by senior Devyn Christensen scoring 26.5 points per game. Freshman Makenlee Williams scored 14.0 ppg to go along with 6.0 rebounds per game as the Aggies went 1-1. Junior Jennifer Schlott added 13.5 ppg with senior Jenna Johnson adding 12.0 ppg. USU averaged 80.0 ppg, while allowing 74.5.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES - Utah State really turned its season around when the calendar changed from 2012 to 2013. The Aggies struggled in November and December with a 5-8 record. With the turn of the calendar, USU began to heat up and has a 12-3 record in the 2013 portion of the regular season. The Aggies were a stellar 6-2 in January and 4-1 in February. USU is already 3-2 in March.
SINGLE-SEASON SENSATIONS -Several Utah State players are finding a spot in the Aggie single-season record book. With 136 assists this season, Jennifer Schlott is fourth in single-season assists. She is two from tying Alice Coddington for third (138), as Coddington achieved the feat in 2011. With 95 steals this year, Jenna Johnson has passed Carol Garrison for the single-season record. Garrison had 94 steals in 1981. Devyn Christensen has already set the record for points in a season with 627 this season. Johnson's 138 free throws made is currently third as Ashlee Brown set the record with 166 last season.
GETTING IT DONE - Utah State's eight three pointers made in the first half of its WAC Tournament quarterfinal game tied the most this season with San Jose State on Feb. 9. USU ended the game with 13 three pointers which was just two shy of the WAC Tournament record of 15 set by Fresno State against Louisiana Tech last season.
CHRISTENSEN HONORED FOR GREAT PERFORMANCE - Devyn Christensen was named to the WAC all-Tournament team, which was announced Saturday evening after the WAC Championship in Las Vegas, Nev.
She becomes the second USU women's basketball player to collect WAC all-Tournament accolades in the Aggies' eight years in the conference after Ashlee Brown was named to the team last season. The senior averaged 26.5 points and shot 51.3 percent from the field (20-of-39), including half of her three-pointers (13-of-26), in the Aggies' two games. She scored a career-high and the second-most point in USU's history with 37 points in USU's semifinal loss to eventual champion Idaho on March 15.
AROUND THE WAC -Idaho is making its second NCAA Tournament appearance when the 16th-seeded Vandals take on No. 1-seed Connecticut in the first round of the Bridgeport Regional at 1:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Ct. The game will air on ESPN2.
Seattle U is playing in the WNIT, traveling to Saint Mary's for a 7 p.m. game on Thursday, March 21. The Redhawks earned the WAC's automatic bid to the tournament as the WAC regular-season champion.
CRACKING OPEN THE WAC RECORD BOOKS - With 330 points during conference play, senior guard Devyn Christensen inked her name into the WAC record books. The 330 points is tied for 10th all-time in single-season points scored in WAC games, tying her with Amy Burnett of Wyoming (1995) and Amisha Carter of Louisiana Tech (2004). Her 50 three-point field goals made is seventh all time. Nevada's Ashley Bastian set the record with 57 treys during league play in 2003. She set the WAC record with three-point field goal attempts with 154, passing Bastian's record of 144 in 2003. Christensen's 91.2 percent free throw percentage during conference games is tied for fourth with Boise State's Lauren Lenhardt in 2011.
MOVING ON UP - With two steals against Idaho on March 15, senior guard Jenna Johnson now stands alone in second in career steals. She now has 218 career steals which passes Aggie-great Danyelle Snelgro (216) for second place. Former teammate Alice Coddington is the all-time leader in steals with 236. Johnson's eight steals against Montana State on Dec. 1 were the most by an Aggie this season.
HERE SHE GOES AGAIN - Senior guard Devyn Christensen broke yet another Utah State record. With her fifth point against Texas State on March 7, she broke the USU single-season scoring record. She now has 627 points this season. Sharon Epps set the record with 542 points in 1982. She has already set the USU record for field goals attempted in a season with 553. The previous record was 449 by Mary Danielson in 1982.
WAC TOURNAMENT HISTORY - The Aggies are played in their eighth and final WAC Tournament. Utah State is 4-8 in the tournament with an overtime win in the quarterfinals against Idaho in 2009 and a quarterfinal win over New Mexico State in 2011. USU's third win came against Nevada last season as well as the win against Denver on March 13. Six of the eight WAC Tournaments that USU has played in have been in the state of Nevada, playing three in Reno and three in Las Vegas. The other two tournaments in which the Aggies participated were in Las Cruces on the campus of New Mexico State. Utah State has had the dubious distinction of having lost to the eventual champion four of the last five seasons, losing to Fresno State in 2009 and 2011, Louisiana Tech in 2010 and Idaho in 2013.
AGGIES IN THE WAC TOURNAMENT 2005-06 #8 Idaho 70, #9 USU 59 (at Reno, Nev.) 2006-07 #3 Nevada 61, #6 USU 60 (at Las Cruces, N.M.) 2007-08 #2 Boise State 61, #7 USU 47 (at Las Cruces, N.M.) 2008-09 #5 USU 59, #4 Idaho 58 (OT) (at Reno, Nev.) #1 Fresno State 57, #5 USU 54 2009-10 #2 Louisiana Tech 82, #7 USU 65 (at Reno, Nev.) 2010-11 #3 USU 72, #6 NMSU 67 (at Las Vegas, Nev.) #2 Fresno State 86, #3 USU 76 2011-12 #2 USU 75, #7 Nevada 66 (at Las Vegas, Nev.) #3 Louisiana Tech 73, #2 Utah State 69 (at Las Vegas, Nev.) 2012-13 #2 USU 78, #7 Denver 65 (at Las Vegas, Nev.) #3 Idaho 84, #2 USU 84 (at Las Vegas, Nev.) Overall Record 4-8SHARP SHOOTERS - In the Aggies win over Denver in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament, Utah State was sharp from beyond the arc. The Aggies made 13-of-25 threes in the game. It was second only to the 14 made in a loss to New Mexico State on Feb. 16. Devyn Christensen and Makenlee Williams both sunk four three pointers in the win. Jennifer Schlott went from fourth to eighth in the league in three-point free throw percentage from 34.7 percent to 35.6 after making two of three. After the loss to Idaho, Schlott is sixth (34.9), while Williams still maintains the top spot in the conference (42.7)
AGGIES TOPS IN THE NATION - Utah State women's basketball enters the postseason ranked in the top 10 in three categories of the recent NCAA Division I statistics, released Monday by the NCAA.
USU is second in the nation in free throw percentage, making 80.1 percent of its shots from the charity stripe. The Aggies are also fifth in scoring offense, netting 76.7 points per game, while also ranking ninth in steals at 12.1 steals per game.
Individually, senior guard Devyn Christensen is third in the nation in both free throw percentage (.923) and three-point field goals per game (3.39), while also ranking 17th in the country in points per game (20.2). Fellow senior guard, Jenna Johnson, is 18th in the nation in steals per game (3.06). Junior guard Jennifer Schlott is 43rd in the country in free throw percentage (.841), while Johnson is 63rd (.821).
In the WAC statistics, Christensen is second in scoring (20.2), while ranking first in free throw percentage (.923) and first in three-pointers made per game (3.39). Christensen also is third in three-point field goal percentage (.361), fifth in steals (2.42), ninth in minutes played (33.61) and 10th in assists (2.81).
Johnson is seventh in the WAC in both scoring (14.3) and rebounding (7.7), while also ranking fourth in free throw percentage (.821) and sixth in minutes played (33.94). Schlott ranks eighth in the league in scoring (13.9), second in assists (4.39), third in both free throw percentage (.841) and assist-turnover ratio (1.24), as well as sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.349).
Freshman guard Makenlee Williams is first in the WAC in three-point field goal percentage (.427), a mark that would rank sixth in the nation, but Williams doesn't reach the minimum requirement of two made per game. Sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu is second in the WAC in field goal percentage (.554), while ranking fourth in blocked shots (1.35) and 20th in rebounding (5.6). Senior guard Cristal Turner is ninth in the league in blocked shots (0.87).
PROTECTING THE HOME TURF - The Aggies and Seattle were the only two teams in the WAC that are undefeated in WAC play at home so far this season. Utah State and Seattle were both 9-0 in league play. The Redhawks are 8-0 with one home games remaining. Overall, Utah State is 10-2 at home this season. Last season, the Aggies were 12-3 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, which is a school record. Utah State's home losses were to Montana State and UC Irvine.
FREE BASKETBALL - With the double overtime win against Denver on Feb. 14, the Aggies have now played five overtime games this season. This was Utah State's first double overtime game since a 70-64 win against Idaho on Feb. 22, 2009 in Logan. USU improves to 4-1 in extra time. USU is 4-0 in overtime conference games this season. The five overtime games is the most since the 2008-09 squad played six overtime games. Last season, the Aggies did not have one overtime game.
BUZZER BEATERS - Utah State has had several close calls this season. The Aggies have had six games this season with one team taking the final lead with 10 seconds or less. Senior guard Devyn Christensen has had a hand in three of these games with game-winning shots against Prairie View A&M (Nov. 12), South Dakota (Dec. 20) and Denver (Feb. 14). Freshman guard Makenlee Williams added a buzzer beater to lift USU over New Mexico State on Jan. 17. Senior guard Jenna Johnson also had late-game heroics, helping the Aggies to an overtime road win over Louisiana Tech on Jan. 26. USU felt the other end of the buzzer beater against UC Irvine on Dec. 18.
BEST OF THE BEST - This year's senior class has had the best four-year record since Utah State's re-instatement during the 2003-04 season. Devyn Christensen, Banna Diop, Pualei Furtado and Jenna Johnson have had a four-year record of 70-55 record so far with one regular-season game remaining.
HISTORY IS MADE - Senior guard Devyn Christensen found another Utah State record to break. On her ninth point against San Jose State on Feb. 9, she became the Aggies' all-time scorer. Christensen's historic basket came off an assist from fellow senior guard Pualei Furtado, one of Furtado's three helpers on the night, and was three of Christensen's team-high 17 points. Christensen's three-pointer gave her 1,354 points, passing Jerrie McGahan (1977-80) with 1,353 points. Christensen now has 1,535 career points.
TOPS IN THE WAC - Devyn Christensen is currently second in the WAC in scoring, averaging 20.2 points per game. She is behind Texas State's Diamond Ford (21.5 ppg). Jenna Johnson is for seventh, averaging 14.3 ppg, while Jennifer Schlott is eighth in scoring with 13.9 ppg. Christensen, who broke the WAC's single-season record for free throw percentage last season, is first this season, shooting 92.3 percent. She has only missed nine of the 117 free throws that she has attempted. Freshman Makenlee Williams is first in the league in three-point free throw percentage, shooting 42.7 percent from beyond the arc. Johnson is third in the conference in steals, averaging 3.06 spg, while Christensen is fifth with 2.42 spg. Jennifer Schlott is second in assists with 4.39 apg. Franny Vaaulu is second in field goal percent, shooting 55.4 percent from the field.
As a team, USU is first in free throw percent (80.1 percent). The Aggies are second in blocked shots (4.29 bpg). Utah State is still first in scoring (76.7 ppg) and second in field goal percentage (41.2 percent). Utah State is now second in steals (12.10 spg).
MAGIC NUMBER - The Aggies continue to have a magic number this season which is 70. When keeping opponents to under 70 points, USU is a stellar 14-0 this year. In 10 of USU's 14 WAC wins this season, the Aggies have allowed under 70 points. Utah State is 4-13 when allowing more than 70 points.
AGGIES IN WAC OPENERS - Utah State is 5-3 in WAC openers winning the last four at home against UTSA this season and on the road against New Mexico State in 2011. In 2010, USU won at home against Boise State and in 2009, USU earned its first ever win against Louisiana Tech. This was the first time since USU joined the league that the Aggies faced a WAC newcomer to start the season. Utah State is now 3-2 in WAC openers at home.
WINNING THE FIRST HALF - Utah State has a solid record when out-scoring its opponents in the first 20 minutes of action. The Aggies are 13-3 when scoring more in the first half. The only games that Utah State lost when leading at half time was an overtime loss to UC Irvine on Dec. 18 and an eight-point loss to UTSA on March 9. USU was ahead 41-36 at halftime and lost in overtime, 71-70. The third game was the WAC Tournament semifinal against Idaho on March 15 where USU led 34-32 at halftime.
AGGIES SET SCHOOL RECORD - Against UTSA, Utah State set a school record, shooting 96 percent from the free throw line, making 24-of-25. The previous record was 95.6 against Colorado in 1980. In overtime, Utah State took control, making 12-of-13 free throws.
HOME OPENERS - Utah State fell to 3-7 in home openers after its 71-65 loss to Montana State on Dec. 1. The Aggies home wins came against Weber State (2011), Utah (2009) and Idaho State (2006).
AGAINST THE BEEHIVE STATE - Since the re-instatement, the Aggies are now 15-16 against the Beehive State, including this season's losses to BYU, Utah Valley and Utah. The Aggies now gone winless against the state for just the third time in the last 10 years. In USU's first season back in 2003, the Aggies went 0-2 against the state with losses to Southern Utah and Weber State. The 2006-07 season was the only other season where the Aggies went winless against the state with losses to both Utah Valley and Weber State.
FAREWELL - USU enters its eighth and final season in the WAC. Next season, the Aggies will be heading to the Mountain West Conference along with San Jose State. Last season, the Aggies finished third in WAC play with an 11-3 conference record which was its best finish since joining the league.
SEASON OPENERS - This is the 10th season since Utah State women's basketball was re-instated for the 2003-04 season. The Aggies are 2-8 in season openers after a 78-62 loss to Utah Valley on Nov. 12. Last season, USU started the season with a win last season at Wyoming, 62-56. USU's other season opening win came to begin the 2009-10 season against in-state rival Utah in Logan, 67-58.
BEING SOCIAL WITH THE AGGIES - Fans can follow USU women's basketball at http://twitter.com/USUwbb and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics. Fans can follow along with the games and keep up with what the Aggies are up to.
ADMISSION - Admission to Utah State's women's basketball games is $5 for adults, $1 for youth. A woman's sports pass is also available for $50. Contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office at (435) 797-0305 or at 1-888-U-STATE-1 (1-888-878-2831) for more information or visit the Utah State athletic web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
SILVER ANNIVERSARY - The 2012-13 season marks the 25th year of women's basketball at USU, and just the 10th since the program was restarted prior to the 2003-04 season. The women's hoops program at USU had been disbanded following the 1987 season due to budget cuts. USU is playing in its eighth season in the WAC after playing its first two seasons in the Big West Conference.
ALASKA - THE FINAL FRONTIER - The Aggies headed to the Final Frontier for the Great Alaska Shootout and returned with their first ever tournament win. With wins against Prairie View A&M and host Alaska Anchorage, Utah State captured the Great Alaska Shootout title. Senior guard Devyn Christensen was named MVP of the tournament, while sophomore forward Franny Vaaulu was also named to the all-tournament team. Vaaulu set the record for highest field goal percentage, shooting 81.8 (9-of-11).
AGGIES ON THE RADIO/WEB - All Utah State games can be heard on KLGN (1390 AM) in Logan with Craig Hislop in his second season as the voice of the Aggies. They can also be heard on the web by going to the Utah State Athletics home page at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clink on the "Listen Live" link in the right hand column.
GAMETRACKER - Fans can follow Aggie home games through the USU web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com via GameTracker, a free service, which updates play-by-play and statistics throughout the game.
ON THE INTERNET - All of Utah State's home games are available to watch live through Utah State TV via the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com. USU fans can also liten to every game both home and away, via USU's web site.
Jerry Finkbeiner - Jerry Finkbeiner took the reigns as Utah State's ninth head women's basketball coach. Finkbeiner added assistant coaches Micha Thompspon and Robert Donaldson. Stu Sells enters his second season as an assistant at Utah State.